SLIPKNOT percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan has confirmed that the band has commenced the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2014's ".5: The Gray Chapter". That disc was released following a six-year hiatus during which founding SLIPKNOT bassist Paul Gray died and original drummer Joey Jordison was dismissed.
SLIPKNOT's touring cycle in support of ".5: The Gray Chapter" ended in November, with singer Corey Taylor returning to his other band STONE SOUR this year.
In a brand new interview with Meltdown of the WRIF radio station in Detroit, Michigan, Crahan stated about SLIPKNOT's current status (hear audio below): "Well, we're writing as a band, and with Corey as well. Yes, we're off, and we're off for a while — for a long while. Okay, [it's] much needed. We'd been touring for three years. Corey's doing what he does, which is STONE SOUR, which is awesome. And he's living that life, which is awesome, 'cause he does really well and love it; it's his art. So he does that. And we're writing. We're beginning to write some music for SLIPKNOT for the new record. He's aware of it… So while we're writing, he's getting songs."
Crahan went on to say that SLIPKNOT fans shouldn't expect any new material for quite a while. "But we're not just gonna sit around… some of us aren't just gonna sit around, because we've done that for twenty years, " he explained. "We just feel like writing. We've had so much fun writing 'The Gray Chapter', and people that started writing together during this album cycle never wrote together in fifteen years, so things are a little bit different and it's amazing and it's fun, and we have a good time."
According to Shawn, SLIPKNOT is working on new music at a relaxed pace, without any involvement from outside producers. "We don't need big, fancy studios or stuff to write," he said. "We can just go to each other's houses and write, you know what I mean? Does that mean we're in the studio? Why would we go in the studio and just spend a bunch of money right now? No. We're writing, though. We're writing for the new record, and Corey gets songs. We have a lot of stuff already that we wrote out on the road for the last three years. We have songs that we've written that are amazing."
SLIPKNOT previously hinted that its next studio effort could be a double concept album.
Last year, Taylor said in an interview with radio host Full Metal Jackie that SLIPKNOT's music will have to evolve. Asked about the group's musical progression, Taylor said he and other key members have been discussing their future, explaining: "I mean, this band has always tried to find the path less traveled. We've always tried to expand the range of the music that we're making and find new ways to speak our piece, find new ways to kind of push our agenda and our message. And it's getting to the point where, at some point, the music will have to evolve."
He continued: "We've done really great things to broaden our musical horizons. At the same time, though, at some point it's gonna have to twist and it's gonna have to change even more... Will it still feel like SLIPKNOT? Absolutely. We write a certain type of music, even though that music may be very, very eclectic and varied, we still write what I consider SLIPKNOT music. But at some point, that will have to evolve and become something new, because our message will have to change."